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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

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Relapsing polychondritis


Other Names for this Disease
  • Chronic atrophic polychondritis
  • Recurrent polychondritis
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Overview

Relapsing polychondritis (RP) is a rare condition characterized by recurrent inflammation of cartilage and other tissues throughout the body. Cartilage is a tough but flexible tissue that covers the ends of bones at a joint, and gives shape and support to other parts of the body. Ear involvement is the most common feature, but a variety of other areas of the body may be affected, including the costal (rib) cartilage, eyes, nose, airways, heart, vascular (veins) system, skin, joints, kidney, and nervous system.[1][2] The signs and symptoms vary from person to person depending on which parts of the body are affected. The exact underlying cause of RP is unknown; however, scientists suspect that it is an autoimmune condition.[3][4] The primary goals of treatment for people with RP are to relieve present symptoms and to preserve the structure of the affected cartilage.[5][6]
Last updated: 4/21/2015

References

  1. Puéchal X, Terrier B, Mouthon L, Costedoat-Chalumeau N, Guillevin L, Le Jeunne C. Relapsing polychondritis. Joint Bone Spine. March 2014; 81(2):118-124.
  2. Clement J Michet, MD. Clinical manifestations of relapsing polychondritis. UpToDate. February 2015; Accessed 4/21/2015.
  3. Relapsing Polychondritis. NORD. March 2012; http://www.rarediseases.org/rare-disease-information/rare-diseases/byID/561/viewAbstract.
  4. Clement J Michet, MD. Etiology and pathogenesis of relapsing polychondritis. UpToDate. October 2013;
  5. Relapsing polychondritis. DermNet NZ. December 2013; http://www.dermnetnz.org/dermal-infiltrative/relapsing-polychondritis.html.
  6. Nicholas Compton, MD. Polychondritis. Medscape Reference. March 2015; http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/331475-overview.
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Basic Information

  • DermNet NZ is an online resource about skin diseases developed by the New Zealand Dermatological Society Incorporated. DermNet NZ provides information about this condition.
  • The Merck Manual provides information on this condition for patients and caregivers. 
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.

In Depth Information

  • Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
  • The Merck Manual for health care professionals provides information on Relapsing polychondritis.
  • MeSH® (Medical Subject Headings) is a terminology tool used by the National Library of Medicine. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.  Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Relapsing polychondritis. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
Other Names for this Disease
  • Chronic atrophic polychondritis
  • Recurrent polychondritis
See Disclaimer regarding information on this site. Some links on this page may take you to organizations outside of the National Institutes of Health.